Will job losses hit West London home prices?

Redundancies at the BBC and CSFB fuel fears of a crash

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Faron Sutaria
Fletchers Estates

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To sell or not to sell no longer seems to be the biggest worry this month for the many thousands of employees who face redundancy in the New Year.  Factoring the mass redundancies planned at huge organisations such as the BBC and Credit Suisse into the movements of the local property market may be complex but in an area that is home to numerous BBC staff and a substantial amount of high earning city workers, it is an issue worthy of consideration. 

Recently published Land Registry figures show the local housing market on the rise with the average Chiswick property priced at a £417,964 the highest level recorded. Areas like Hammersmith and Putney have also hit new peaks. On the whole local prices are up 11.5% over the last year compared to a 9.7% rise for London and a 16.3% national increase. 

However, it is worth noting that this rise has been buoyed by renewed evidence of activity at the top end of the market - more often than not the first sector to suffer in harder times. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom, recent statistics from London job site www.gumtree.com have shown an increase of over 60% of new job vacancies in the last few months with a staggering 11,500 vacancies posted in November.  Founder Michael Pennington said, “Although clearly the staff reductions at Credit Suisse and the BBC are going to have an effect on the Capital’s economy, our statistics show that the London job market was in a robust state previously which may make the redundancies less devastating.”

Stephen Rodgers of local Independent Financial Advisers Berkeley Consultants commented "We are registering an increasing number of homebuyers who are working at the Chiswick Business Park. They are all eager to buy in this area and with the continual expansion of this prestigious business site, attracting both large and small company employees; the local home buying market should remain buoyant."

December 10, 2004